The issue of child custody is a primary concern for most parents seeking a divorce. A custody agreement aims to emphasize an arrangement between the parents that will keep the best interest of the child a priority. In Florida, a family court judge will indicate the parameters regarding physical custody, visitation and decision-making on the child's behalf.
Parents undergoing a child custody dispute can expect that most family courts will assign parents shared responsibility for their children, even when one parent may have primary residential or physical custody. Custody decisions encompass more than just determining with which parent a child will primarily live. It also involves courts determining how major decisions that affect the children's lives will be made.
A push for shared parenting has resulted in an unprecedented change, with more Florida fathers are becoming single parents. During the last several decades, courts have made decisions regarding custody by considering the best interests of the child, which has resulted in a disproportionate number of custody decisions favoring the mothers. However, as more fathers push for joint custody, more mothers have decided to give up their portion of custody.
Florida residents may have heard of two fathers who were recently re-united with their sons. While both California men had shared custody agreements with the mother after their divorces, she purposely kept the children in Europe after her authorized vacation with them had ended. She not only kept the children, she also changed their names and appearance, and moved around often in order to avoid returning them to America and negotiating new child custody agreements with their fathers.
Divorcing parents in Florida who want to lessen the impact on their children now have a new tool: "co-parenting." It's a concept that can de-emphasize some of the thornier child custody issues in the parenting equation and allow both parents to more equally share in the responsibilities of raising their children.